For the last few years, rather than a New Years resolution, we've chosen a word to weave through our thoughts, our actions & our monthly ramblings & faffings . Last year we chose 4, because we're indecisive & greedy!
This year we only have one - Happy
Our word for 2024 came to us while we were out on a dog walk today. While we were striding out with Gilbert for company, on a dry & mild winters day, we chatted to a cyclist coming down the hill, saw a feather, reminding us of a lost loved one & spotted new shoots poking through the ground ready for spring. Happy was how we felt, how we hope the year will continue to feel & how we hope you can feel too.
So, what makes you happy & why? These are our 5 ways to focus on being Happy, how we use them & how you might too.
This might sound like stating the obvious, but it's not always easy with the stresses of life & we all enjoy ourselves in different ways.
For us, we're happiest outdoors, whether it's taking a big hike, walking the dog or pottering in the garden. We like walking on a Scottish beach in Autumn, going on adventures & exploring new places in the snow, open air summer concerts. Sitting by a firepit till late & eating outside, especially a picnic.
Ofcourse, being outdoors in the fresh air is good for you, so there is really no surprise that it makes us happy.
Life really is all about balance, compromise & enjoying your own thing as well as together. That, in our opinion, makes for a healthy lifestyle.
I love cheese & he loves chocolate. I love prosecco & earl grey tea & he loves beer & coffee! We both love being with friends & family around a dinner table, & we both love staying up late, having too much to drink at a party & (I love) dancing till the early hours of the morning. We both even love scrolling mindlessly on our phones sometimes!
I love going joggling (a combination of jogging & jiggling for ladies of a certain age!) with my girlfriends, he loves playing golf, We both love watching our son play rugby, whatever the weather. We like watching a favourite film for the 100th time, taking long dog walks in our favourite places , having an early night with no alarm clock set, We love switching the phones off & going on adventures together, & I actually really enjoy eating salad (him not so)
All in moderation, individually & together, all these things make us happy.
Talk & share
Oooo this is a good one & especially for me, I'm a great listener, but I find talking & sharing difficult.
But I'm getting better & thankfully my other half is a talker & a great listener, he's wise & gives just the right amount of advice.
And what I have learned is that talking seems easier away from my home environment, where there are no distractions. When we walk, we chat. When we are away, we share our hopes & dreams. We plan. & we are honest with each other. No, "I'm fine" or agreeing with things that we don't really agree with. The conversations are somehow easier. Maybe it's because we are more relaxed, the things that cause stress aren't immediately there to distract us, who knows, but it works for us.
I've recently used the charity Sue Ryder to talk to & share my grief journey with. It helped & I am happier because of it. Ofcourse, we are aware that not everyone has a partner that they can talk to easily. If that's the case, seek out a friend, a relative, a colleague or if you'd prefer, a professional who can help you get your thoughts straight & plan a way to help you.
Trust me, from one who knows, it may not be immediate, but in time, it will make you happier
We haven't got the miracle cure for this one, sorry! But we are pretty well practiced in the art of reducing stress in our own lives. Balancing running our own business with demanding family life can be hard, but we realised many years ago, it shouldn't make us unhappy.
So we thought about what was stressful, if it was necessary or could be removed altogether. The answer for us was time, or the lack of it, especially for ourselves & each other. Creating more time whilst being at home & accessible to others just didn't work, so we came up with an escape plan. Well, more honestly. time away together. It doesn't need to be anywhere fancy or even miles away, but planning in time away to switch off from our everyday lives really has been the key to reducing our stress & with balance, makes us happier.
We then realised the importance of encouraging others to do the same & 10 years ago the little green hut was established. Maybe when you come & stay with us, it's because you think you fancy a night away, somewhere different, but we have created a little corner of calm, with stress reducing influences. No TV to distract you. An invitation to take breakfast in bed or relax on the treehouse deck. Read a book. It's a place for you to relax & unwind & somewhere forget about things for a little while. And more importantly, a place to talk & share......
Do you have a hobby? Something that helps you switch off your brain & makes you focus on the here & now moment?
It could be painting/drawing, knitting/crochet, model making, growing flowers, baking or even DIY. Producing something that you made with your own hands is very rewarding, especially if it's a new skill you've learnt recently or a new recipe you haven't tried before & it worked out perfectly.
I crochet. It's not just a hobby. It keeps my hands & mind busy & stops me thinking about other things. I love everything about it from deciding on a project, choosing the wool/colours, watching my project grow & finally casting off & sewing in all the ends. Self taught with the help of some online guidance ( Attic24 is just brilliant) I now run my own weekly group teaching others how to do it too, what can I say, I am a wool addict & proud!!
There is nothing that makes me happier than giving a handmade blanket or a home grown bunch of flowers, & if you've stayed in the little green hut, you'll notice the blankets & garden pickings in there too & hopefully they will bring a smile to your face.
So that's it really. No rocket science, just some basic practices that over time, when incorporated into your every day lives, will help improve your happiness. Give them a go, we hope they make you happy too & we'd love you to let us know what you think & maybe even see you here soon at Thehuteyam for some happy hut time.
Till then, happy hutty hugs xx
[All words/pictures our own]